"Prep up," he says, director's authority and decisive
gesture. Looks over my t-shirt and blue jeans, nods
for Emphasis. "Do your makeup. Straighten
your hair," and I have to smile meekly, as I admit
I don't know how.

So Kristina brings her straightener and suddenly,
!bam, I'm Miss Thang. The girls huddle around
me: hands in my hair, attention
on my posture and my smile. It takes twenty
minutes to smooth my tangles into silk;

I sink into the childhood comfort of sheer
sensation -- their voices lull me,
their hands gentle in my hair.

The make-up ordeal is not so pleasant,
a jumble of mascara and lipstick from seven
different angles. Fingers smooth creases
from my eyelids and even my skin tone;
I offer my mouth to be glossed and colored, stand
stockstraight and silent, Their Sized Barbie
come to life.

And afterwards they step away, survey
me (-- is it still me?) with pleased expressions.

"You look so...different," they say. I know it's true
when girls who ignore me give compliments,
and boys I don't know smile my way. Somehow,
this lessens my invisibility -- not my t-shirt designs,
not my writing awards, but a layer of
eyeliner and some foundation.

The girl in the mirror looks startled. Kohl-rimmed
eyes and long black lashes, hair that falls soft and shining
past my shoulders. For once, I see myself as pretty.
This way, I could be something
different, craft an identity from Covergirl products. The idea
is not without temptation.

And I think of that show we watched,
The Swan, where women were pulled and prodded
and stretched and shimmied
into bodies that weren't their own, until
they cried and said they were beautiful. I think
of all the girls who think of themselves
as ugly ducklings, and I wonder
if we're all the same, waiting for someone
else to transform us, to show us

what we can be.


A/N: This is my Drama I class right now.. we're filming D.'s movie, "Redundant Ryan", and this is my makeover. For those of you wondering, yeah, I generally don't worry too much about hair or makeup -- ponytail and some lip gloss does it for me -- and yeah, I look pretty damn good with a little effort. In the past two days I've had compliments, I've had new looks, and from our director I got a, "Wow, I just want to come over there and be like, who's that babe? I will pay you if you do your hair like that the rest of the year." I'm not sure if I want to keep the attention or not.. but it is tempting. It definitely is.